Friday, February 29, 2008

Richard Leigh Barrett

Richard Leigh Barrett
Originally uploaded by dvdbarrett
Richard Leigh Barrett (31 Jan 1895-3 Aug 1900) Picture taken abt 1899, probably in Milwaukee, WI.

This picture is from the photo album of Richard's brother Newton. He had this to say about it:

Richard’s last picture. Ten days after my 10th birthday he died of “diphtheritic croup”. I remember riding in a funeral procession in a swell coach, across 16th St. Viaduct, to Forest Home cemetery. I’ll never forget the hysterical sobs which came from them both as they knelt at the grave. He was a cherub, altogether more fit for heaven than his brothers—to good to live in this evil world. While Uncle Ned was something of a maverick, being no good in a job, he had a near-genius for electricity, sunk Uncle Samuel’s savings in an invention which, he said, would revolutionize telegraphy. I remember the wet batteries and elaborate apparatus in their parlor. He never got a patent for it. They moved to Minot, ND and I kept in touch until he was perhaps 85, when my Christmas letter wasn’t answered. They tried to get me to stay with them, since I reminded them of little Richard, “Dickie”. I preferred to be with cousins Millard and Edith at Grandma’s. I’ve often repined at fate, which dealt me a rotten deal—nobody would have wept over me—if there were any tears, they came because I didn’t die, but survived to be a nuisance to my sadistic Uncle Will Millard, and his wife, who not unnaturally hated me.

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